When an employee is forced from employment on a basis other than performance it seems to offend the concept of fairness. In the cases involving the mandatory retirement of state court judges, however, the harsh result for the affected judges must be balanced against society's interest in a competent judiciary. Although advancing age usually does not render a judge incompetent, the approach of legislators and voters has been to err on the side of caution, basing the mandatory retirement mechanism on the arbitrary factor of age. When these two interests collide, the result changes the balance between individual rights and societal interests.

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